The American Historical Association (AHA) rejected two anti-Israel resolutions proposed by Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement activists in a 144-55 vote at the association’s annual meeting on Sunday in New York.
The resolutions, proposed by Historians Against the War (HAW), criticized Israeli policies but did not go as far as calling for a boycott of Israel.
To become a member of HAW, which a separate entity from AHA, one must sign an online statement declaring opposition “to wars of aggression, military occupations of foreign lands, and imperial efforts by the United States and other powerful nations to dominate the internal life of other countries”-language that echoes HAW’s anti-Israel views on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
“Though the resolutions did not call for academic boycotts of Israel, they were part of the BDS campaign which uses false accusations to erode Israel’s reputation and pave the way for more draconian anti-Israel resolutions,” said Roberta P. Seid, Ph.D, director of research-education at the pro-Israel group StandWithUs and a member of the AHA.
“[The resolutions’ defeat] is a significant blow to BDS’ manipulative tactics, false claims, and explicitly stated effort to win support in academia,” added Seid. “We hope that other academic organizations will follow the AHA’s example, reject the bigoted BDS movement, and restore informed and reasonable debate about Israel and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.”